Major media outlets immediately seized on a story about a police-involved killing of a 16-year-old black girl in Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday without including important context.
The story: On Thursday, Columbus police received a call about a woman trying to stab another person, but the call got disconnected before the caller could give more details.
Officers received the call at around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and arrived at the scene about fifteen minutes later.
Bodycam footage played at a press conference showed a chaotic situation where a girl wielding a knife was swinging the weapon at another girl who fell on the ground, before abruptly turning to a second girl, trying to stab her.
As a police vehicle arrived, the officer stepped out and asked “what’s going on?” as two girls were seen running toward him. One of the girls was Ma’Khia Bryant, who was shot. She’s seen swinging the knife at the two girls even as the officer warned her multiple times to get down. After Bryant ignored his orders and continued to try and stab a second girl, the officer shot her four times.
She was transferred to Mount Carmel East in critical condition.
The incident occurred shortly before a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of the unintentional murder of George Floyd.
Major publications like the New York Times and the Associated Press left out important details in their initial reports of the story, according to The Blaze senior editor Daniel Horowitz. The two outlets attempted to frame the fatal shooting as yet another example of excessive use of police force against minority residents, even though the officer likely saved two black girls from serious injuries.
“A teenage girl who the police say threatened two girls with a knife was fatally shot by an officer in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday afternoon, shortly before a jury reached a guilty verdict in the murder trial of the former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in last year’s killing of George Floyd,” the Times reported.
The Times said that “officials said” Bryant had a knife, even though a slow-motion of the bodycam footage clearly shows Bryant wielding a large blade in her right hand.
“The girl’s death cast an immediate pall over public expressions that justice had been served in Mr. Floyd’s case and touched off protests in Ohio’s capital city,” the paper reported.
“At a news conference on Tuesday night, the Columbus Division of Police released body camera footage from the officer, who officials said had been responding to a 911 call about an attempted stabbing around 4:45 p.m. in the southeastern part of the city,” the paper reported.
Meanwhile, the AP tweeted, “Police shot and killed a teenage Black girl in Columbus, Ohio, just as the verdict was being announced in the trial for the killing of George Floyd. Bodycam footage appeared to show the girl attempting to stab two people with a knife.”
In their report, the AP did acknowledge Bryant was wielding a knife, but appeared to attempt to frame the shooting in the context of race by pointing out that “the race of the officer wasn’t clear.”
“This is where we are in America today. Any time police are forced to shoot a violent criminal who happens to be black, the expectation is that there is a right to riot,” wrote Horowitz.
Protesters marched in downtown Columbus on Tuesday and Wednesday in response to the shooting but were mainly peaceful, and initially, there were no reports of riots, vandalism, or destruction of property.
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Author: Damjan Tutarkov
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